The other day, some friends took me on what I thought would be a short climb. We parked the car and took a look at the summit. We got out our climbing gear and started putting on our boots and gathering what we needed in our backpacks.
It doesn’t seem that far or that difficult. Good! I thought.
Food is one of the most basic needs of humanity, so it makes sense that food would make an early entrance in the account of God’s dealings with us. In Genesis, plants and trees are given for food: “Every seed-bearing plant … Every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”1
Not so long ago, the various members of our family had different schedules, and as a result, we were seldom able to eat together. I couldn’t help feeling that our family was drifting apart—especially since visiting an Italian friend who taught me what a joy “breaking bread” together can be.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, only one of the things He told them to ask for was a physical need—“Give us this day our daily bread.”1 All the rest of the prayer is praise to God or requests for spiritual gifts or blessings so that we can better please and serve Him. His including a request for material supply recognizes that we live in the natural world and that God wants to supply our physical needs. But it goes deeper than that.
I have a confession: I really like to win! Whether it’s at sports, a board game, or—unfortunately—a disagreement, my competitiveness comes to the fore and I have to try to come out on top. No game is too simple for me when it comes to trying to develop an edge. I’ve even devised (mostly pointless!) strategies for Snakes and Ladders or Go Fish.